Investing in timeshares

Today's vacation clubs offer good value and accommodations for consumers looking to get away

on to your heirs.

  • Consider exchangeability. If you’re buying a property primarily to take advantage of the exchange benefit, then it’s best to buy the largest unit in the most popular season, or the largest point package you can afford. This provides the greatest flexibility in exchanging time in desirable locations and seasons.
  • Examine the resort and its parent company. Before buying a property, visit one or more of the company’s resort properties to see how well it’s maintained and operated. Make sure the property exists in fact, rather than on paper. See if the company is a member of ARDA and subscribes to the industry’s Code of Standards and Ethics. Many complaints come from people who bought property based on a brochure and were later disappointed when they saw their actual accommodations.
  • Choose a resort that fits your lifestyle. This is a long-term commitment, and the resort property you buy should be one you want to stay at often over the years or one with affiliated properties you want to stay at.
  • Timesharing Resources

    For more information on vacation exchange clubs, contact the following timeshare organizations:
    American Resort Development Association
    1220 L St. NW, Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20005
    202-371-6700
    www.arda.org
    ARDA publishes a free 14-page booklet, “A Consumer Guide to Vacation Ownership” that outlines in more specific detail the timesharing industry, fees and how exchanges work. There’s also more information on their Web site including links to some of the largest timeshare
    developers. Included are details on ARDA’s Code of Standards and Ethics for vacation exchanges and member properties.

    Interval International
    Attn: Christina Wells
    6262 Sunset Drive
    Miami, FL 33143
    800-622-1861
    www.interval-intl.com
    Indicate whether you’re a consumer member wanting information on exchanges through II or a developer needing information on becoming affiliated with their network. At their Web site, you’ll find information in four languages-English, Spanish, French and Dutch-that ranges from industry news to weather updates to travel links to member resorts. Membership information is restricted to members and not accessible online. A CD-ROM resort directory and vacation planner can be ordered online by members.

    Resort Condominiums International
    3502 Woodview Trace
    Indianapolis, IN 46268-1104
    317-876-1692
    www.rci.com
    The largest of the vacation exchange clubs makes information on itself and affiliated properties in its network available online. The site includes information on timeshare exchanges and hotlinks to other vacation sites and information sources. Members can even make their travel exchange reservations online and have access to RCI’s own travel agency network.

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